Understanding Public Speaker Bookings and How They Work

August 21, 2013

Tech Tips

Whether you’re hosting a conference, planning an awards dinner or organizing a charity gala, inviting a fantastic speaker to your event can leave a lasting impression on your guests. A speaker can give your guests food for thought or add a few laughs to make your programme more memorable.

If you are organising an upcoming event and are thinking about hiring a speaker, here are a few tips to keep in mind when making the booking arrangements.

Know Your Audience

To book a public speaker, it is critical that you know who your event’s audience is and what will interest them. They will want someone that they can relate to on some level and has relevance to their reason for being at the event. If you don’t know much about your audience, do a bit of surveying to find out more.

Set a Budget

Hiring a quality professional speaker will cost you money. If you choose to work with a speakers’ bureau or agency, your budget will play a large role in the list of potential speakers they provide you with. Work with your event planning team ahead of time to decide on this number and provide it to your agent from the get go.

Create an Event Description and Speaker Requirements

In addition to having a budget for a speaker, a speakers bureau will want to know as many details as possible about your event in order to make good recommendations. This should include things like the date of the event, potential speech topics, information about the audience and any other relevant details.

For instance, if you were planning an event for a professional women’s association and wanted a motivational speaker, a speaker’s bureau might recommend yachtswoman Ellen MacArthur as a keynote speaker because of her captivating personal story.

Leave Plenty of Time to Make the Booking Arrangements

Once you have made contact with an agent for a booking, it does take time for them to find a list of potential speakers and after that your event planning team with likely want time to work with the speaker prior to the event. All of these things add up in terms of the time you will need to finalize the booking and ensure that the speaker is fully prepared for your event. Wherever possible, give yourself as much time as possible for the booking arrangements.

Market Your Speaker as a Part of the Event

A great speaker can be a feature of your event and if you have paid money for that person to be there, you will want to use their clout as a part of your event’s marketing. Leverage it far and wide to attract a bigger audience and sell more tickets to your event. This will increase your return on investment in booking the speaker.

Booking a speaker for your next event does not have to be a daunting or complex process. Once you have thought through some of the details about your event, start by contacting a speakers’ bureau that will be able to help you find the perfect speaker for your event.

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